Ghana to set up camp in UAE ahead of African Cup

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ACCRA, Ghana (AP) -- Ghana's squad for the 2013 African Cup of Nations will set up camp in the United Arab Emirates to prepare for the tournament in South Africa.

The Ghana Football Association said on Wednesday that the squad will be in Abu Dhabi from Jan. 7-16 before its first game at the African Cup on Jan. 20. Ghana striker and captain Asamoah Gyan plays for UAE club Al Ain.

"The UAE camping venue is also a good place for us to host friendly matches before the competition, which is also key for our preparation," GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi said.

Ghana has lined up a friendly against African Cup qualifier Cape Verde in Portugal next week to kick off its buildup.

Coach Kwesi Appiah this week picked teenage Inter Milan midfielder Joseph Duncan in his squad of 21 for the game against Atlantic island country Cape Verde, which will make its African Cup debut in January.

Ghana finished fourth after losing to eventual champion Zambia in the semifinals at the 2010 African Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The team has lost two semifinals and a final in the past three African Cups and won the last of its four titles in 1982.

In South Africa, Ghana is grouped with Mali -- which it also faced in the group stage and the third-place match last time -- as well as Congo and Niger.